Othello Has Been Described as ‘Fatally Self-indulgent’ and ‘Doing not have in Self-Knowledge’.
Othello has actually been referred to as ‘fatally self-indulgent’ and ‘doing not have in self-knowledge’. Evaluate Shakespeare’s presentation of Othello in view of this. There have been two traditional views about Shakespeare’s discussion of Othello’s character. One of those is that Othello has been described as ‘fatally self- centered’ and ‘doing not have in self knowledge’. According to Collins dictionary, self-indulgent explains someone who is only concerned with their own wants and requires and never ever considers other people and an absence in self understanding is an absence in understanding of one’s own character.
The concern is, are these qualities associated with Othello’s character? At the beginning of the play, Othello is represented as a cultural and racial outsider in Venice, his skill as a soldier and leader is, nonetheless, important and necessary to the state. The Duke and Senators are selecting the very best warrior to defend their country: ‘Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you/ Against the general enemy Ottoman.’ That makes Othello get the power and self-confidence from his services in front of the state.
When Brabantio, Desdemona’s daddy, comes with his individuals to combat Othello on the grounds of witch crafting his child, ‘the worthy Moor’ reacts very calmly: “Hold your hands, both of you of my inclining and the rest./ Were it my cue to fight, I ought to have understood it without a prompter”. He remains in overall control of the circumstance which shows self-awareness of his worth. Another view of Othello, the majority of famously expressed in the work of T. S. Elliot and F. R. Leavis, recommends that he is a vain egoist who deserves his fate: a guy so in love with his self-image that he is incapable of loving Desdemona other than as the forecast of his own perfect.
Othello didn’t actually know her prior to they got married, he fell for her due to the fact that she admired him (“She liked me for the risks I had pass ‘d,/ And I enjoyed her that she did pity them. “). An author D. A. Traversi discusses in his essay that “his (Othello’s) happiness in the opening scene resembles whatever else in his character, self-centered, naive, even egoistic; It was, in fact, by his passionate, simple-minded enjoy his own spectacular profession that he won her”.
Othello’s self-pride wins him his beautiful spouse, but it is likewise a prospective threaten to the final disaster. He describes himself as “one who enjoyed not wisely, but too well”. Yet his enthusiasm for Desdemona is plainly tied up in his own sense of self-worth, in a manner that threatens to his partner. The pride triggers Othello to care about his reputation more than his beloved Desdemona. One of the possible analyses of Desdemona’s murder is Othello’s desire to repair his honor and self-image as out of pure rage.
Jealousy is an extremely self-indulgent emotion, and Othello is so soaked up with himself, so he does not recognise Desdemona’s commitment and his trust lies upon Iago’s words. In his book ‘Shakespeare is Hard, however so is Life’, O’Toole argues that Othello’s ‘awful defect is jealousy and he carries it around like a crutch, just waiting on somebody to kick It from under him’. In my viewpoint, Brabantio’s words may have affected him: ‘Aim to her, Moor, if thou has eyes to see:/ She has tricked her daddy, and may thee’.
Also, if Othello is to believe that Desdemona has betrayed him then we need to likewise think about the Elizabethan views on ‘cuckolding’ it would have been considered at the time a terrific pity and disgrace on Othello’s name if his wife betrayed to him: ‘My name, that was as fresh/ As Dians visage is now as begrimed and black as mine own face.’ It is extremely paradoxical that he sees ‘the occular proof’ of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness in a handkerchief, though it has a symbolic value as his first gift to her.
At the beginning of the play Othello remarks that his ‘life upon her faith’. Did he simply say it to charm and impress the readers with his stunning and poetic language? Is it his jealousy and insecurity that caused his character to change? Or maybe it is a lack of self knowledge? It has been stated that the more self-knowledge we have, the more control we can exert over our sensations and behaviour. A literary critic F. R. Leavis takes it for given that “Othello’s noble absence of self knowledge is shown as humiliating and disastrous”.
We can see from this that Othello’s self dramatisation is extremely over the leading and inappropriate. Leavis argues that Othello does not at any point acknowledge his ‘gullibility and stupidity’ throughout his failure and Desdemona’s death. Othello’s language is extremely essential in comprehending his character. In spite of his obvious eloquence, Othello demonstrations: ‘Rude am I in my speech/ And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace.’ He uses false modesty in order to underline his inferior speech. A critic A. C.
Bradley views Othello as ‘the best poet of them all’. Nevertheless, Othello’s language modifications according to his emotion and Iago’s influence on him. His language later on ends up being more depraved and chaotic as his jealousy grows: ‘Bad guy, make certain thou show my love a whore’. Othello’s last speech includes a list of similes to explain his condition, in which we experience the ‘base Indian’ and the ‘Arabian trees’, while the opening soliloquy presents us with Desdemona’s ‘whiter skin … than snow’… smooth as significant alabaster’, and her ‘balmy breath’. Othello’s absence of self-knowledge partially comes with inability to separate his personal and public lives: he is a noble basic in public and conflicted and insecure person in personal. The very first speech is made when he is alone, save for the sleeping Desdemona, yet he speaks almost as if in public, practically with an ear for effect, which may, obviously, just be the result of his experience of public speaking, or of his own insistence that whatever he states should be well-said.
It is reasonable that he might be worried about his public image as he is the only black person in Venice, so he requires to work two times more difficult to get rid of any prejudice and keep up with his track record. However, the race concern seems to be more of a problem for Othello than anyone else in the play, apart from Brabantio, naturally. In his very first soliloquy, Othello utilizes racial remarks for himself: ‘Haply, for I am black/ And have not those soft parts of discussion that chamberers have’. He is doing not have in self knowledge and covering his insecurity with self deprecation.
Likewise, Othello’s lack of self-awareness is shown by his urge to guarantee the senators that he will not let his marital relationship obstruct of his profession. Ironically, it is precisely what occurs when Othello is let to believe that Desdemona has an affair. He overemphasizes that his life as soldier is over: ‘Goodbye the plumed troops, and the huge wars’. In conclusion, I believe that Othello is ‘fatally self-indulgent’ and ‘doing not have in self-knowledge’. He generally believes that his actions were entirely respectable (‘For nought I did in hate, but all in honour’). F. R.
Leaves claims that in Othello’s last speech, he talks in 3rd person, keeping the audience at a range, and throughout the speech, Othello is ‘preoccupied with his feelings instead of Desdemona in her own right’. Regardless of the disaster that has actually taken place by this point in the play, Othello is still concerned with his own losses and his track record, rather than the loss of his cherished and innocent spouse Desdemona. At the end, he states: ‘Mention me as I am’. However how could people around him and the readers understand if Othello himself does not understand who is he?
When Lodovico had seen Othello struck Desdemona, he stated: ‘Is this the honorable Moor whom our full Senate/ Call all in all adequate? Is this the nature/ Whom enthusiasm could not shake? Whose strong virtue/ The shot of mishap nor dart of chance/ Could neither graze nor pierce?’ While Iago, being the sincere male he is, answers: ‘He’s that he is’. For That Reason, William Shakespeare presented the character of Othello as extremely advanced and left it for readers’ analysis whether he is ‘a worthy hero, caught by Iago’s machinations’ or ‘vain egoist who deserves his fate’.